TDR_Kira028-2_FINAL-2By: Kira Elkind, Three Day Rule Matchmaker

“Too short – left.  Nice body – right.  Left.  Left.  Ooh, definitely right!” 

Sound familiar?  It’s the new world of online dating: split-second decision-making to find your match, flicking away potential partners without a second thought.  Rather than meeting someone over a drink, or even spending a couple minutes browsing through a Facebook profile, singles today in the Tinder generation tend to make immediate decisions based on a profile picture, and maybe a quick skim of mutual friends.

It should come as no surprise that browsing for dates as haphazardly as we scroll through our Instagram feeds limits the variety of people we meet.  Most of us have a certain physical “type”, and with an endless supply of profile pictures, we often don’t find it necessary to branch out and swipe right on anyone a little…different.

One of the things I love most about my job as a matchmaker is connecting people who never would have “swiped right” on each other.  Once they get past the fact that the other person doesn’t have their desired hair color – or even a full head of hair at all! – they find out that they actually have a ton in common.

I met with three couples who were sure that they never would have met if it came down to just a swipe – here’s what they have to say:

(Tim and Marissa, married in November, 2012)

Five years ago, my best friend showed me a picture of her coworker who she wanted to set WB9A9126me up with and I immediately said, “no, thanks.”  Skinny, dorky, slightly balding – just not for me.  After months of her nagging me, I finally agreed to ONE date with him. We met for drinks at a bar near my apartment. I showed up fashionably late and immediately knew he was the not-so-fashionable and not-so-fit guy standing at the bar.  Around our second drink, I started to let my guard down because he kept cracking me up. Not only was he hilarious, he was also so interested in everything I had to say and seemed to be really genuine. Five years later, we’re not only happily married, but the scrawny guy who I definitely would have swiped past has now turned into a fitness buff and works out more than I do!

(Scott and Taylor, dating for a little over a year)

Flickr/starsandspirals
Flickr/starsandspirals

It was my last semester in business school and we were assigned partners for our final project. I was paired with the loud, spunky, Long Island girl who came to class every day wearing large hoop earrings and four-inch heels. My initial thought was, “What am I getting myself into?”  At our first meeting, I started to realize that I was crushing on her, so I suggested we do our second meeting at my favorite wine bar instead of the library.  Three hours and two bottles of wine later, she asked to see my cell phone. I immediately thought, “Sh*t, maybe this girl is crazy!” She took my phone right out of my hand and pulled up my Hinge profile. Then she pulled up my recent matches and showed me that not only had we matched two months ago, but that she had sent me a message that I totally ignored! She truly is an example of someone who I never would have followed up with because I judged her style (or lack thereof) in her picture.

(Katie and Jared, married October 2014)

Flickr/Jameziecakes
Flickr/Jameziecakes

When my aunt told me that her old friend was bringing her nice, cute, single, Jewish son to our dinner, I secretly got really excited. He walked in the door and I was immediately attracted to him. After one too many glasses of wine, my mom started telling him and his mom stories about how out of control I was in high school. We then realized that we actually went to high school together! I was a freshman girl in the popular crowd who hung out with the senior football players, and Richard was a senior in the marching band – I definitely had no idea who he was. Richard’s mom went on to tell us that he still played the trumpet and was in a jazz band. I started to write him off, but when he came and sat next to me, I quickly realized how adorable and funny he was. Three years later, I now find his trumpet playing to be incredibly sexy.  Had we been introduced by Tinder instead of my aunt, I would have swiped past his trumpet-playing picture without a second thought.

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In short, while Tinder and similar dating apps have made it much easier to meet people, they have also made it much easier to dismiss people with whom you may have a really great connection.

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